"When Jo Green takes a nannying job in London to escape her small-town routine, complicated family, and perfect-on-paper boyfriend Shaun, culture shock doesn't even begin to describe it. Dick and Vanessa Fitzgerald are the most incompatible pair since Tom and Jerry, and their children - glittery warrior pixie Cassandra, bloodthirsty Zak and shy little Tallulah - are downright mystifying. Suddenly, village life seems terribly appealing.
Then, just as Jo's getting the hang of their designer lifestyle, the Fitzgeralds acquire a new lodger and suddenly she's sharing her nanny flat with the distractingly good-looking but inexplicably moody Josh. So when Shaun turns up, things get even trickier ..."
I've heard many great things about Melissa Nathan and this book in particular so I bought a copy last year in London, but put off reading it till now, no idea why - if I knew how fantastic the book is, I would've read it on the flight back, hehe! Despite all the praise, I was still sort of surprised by how fantastic this book really was!
The best part about it was the brilliant humour - I really appreciate it when an author can make me laugh out loud and Ms Nathan's book definitely accomplished that many times! There weren't really all that many comedy scenes as such, but the dialogue was almost always sharp and oh so funny, I loved that! I was going to list all the characters that I thought were hilarious, but then I realized that would be pretty much all of them so it's no surprise that I adored them all.
The dialogue between Dick and Vanessa was hilarious (especially at the beginning of the book) and I liked how their relationship defied the stereotypical gender roles, which was quite the opposite of Jo's parents - no wonder Jo was shocked by the Fitzgerald family. The children were all adorable too and on the whole I really warmed up to the Fitzgeralds! As for Josh, who could resist falling for his quick wit and charm,? He cracked me up so many times that I just couldn't help developing a tiny little crush on him, hehe. Pippa was a great character too and pretty much the only two ones I didn't like were Shaun and Sheila, obviously.
The characters not only made the book a positive delight to read, but I also found them very well developed. The book was quite long (over 500 pages), but Nathan made sure that we got to know the many different sides of characters and I thought they were incredibly well brought to life. I liked how the novel also featured some more serious themes (infidelity, money problems, health problems, betrayal etc.) because I think they balanced out the story, which included both lots of laughter and some serious moments too - that's really my perfect combination plot wise, and I'm also pleased that this story even comes with a twist or two, which is another plus in my book, hehe.
All in all, this book was a fantastic read and it definitely won't be my last by Nathan as I've already ordered almost all of her other books - she wrote five of them, but sadly there won't be any news ones because the author passed away in 2006. :( In her memory, a literary award been named after her - The Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance, which is quite fitting seeing how The Nanny was one of the best rom coms I've ever read!
I strongly recommend this book and I think it's a perfect choice for the fans of Sophie Kinsella and Jenny Colgan or just for anyone in need of some cheering up!
overall rating: 5/5
plot: 5/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 4/5